1. Polyphonic-Canary
    Offline

    Polyphonic-Canary Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Setting?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Polyphonic-Canary, Jul 6, 2009.

    The real or fantasy world? Or perhaps even a mixture of both?

    Which one do you base your plots around most frequently? I’d always thought fantasy was the easier route; having the freedom to start from scratch and create your own rules, without seeming too unrealistic or offending anyone, though now I’m not so sure. I’ve found creating a new world often eats up a large number of words and time, detracting from the plot and boring the reader to death with unnecessary information. Not exactly what I was going for. As for the stories created within the real-world, I always felt a bit limited, not knowing for sure whether I was being completely accurate or not. I guess you can never do enough research, heh.
     
  2. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland
    I've never written in a fantasy world. I mean, I've bent the rules of the real world and things, but its always very much grounded in reality and based on real places.

    Maybe I should try some fantasy world-building (but what if I enjoy it?? :O)
     
  3. Polyphonic-Canary
    Offline

    Polyphonic-Canary Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Oh, you couldn't possibly enjoy it; that'd be wrong! ;)

    No, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy building fantasy settings most of the time, it's just this latest concept I've had isn't proving to be overly keen on developing in that sort of world. Suppose I should mix and match really.
     
  4. Marcelo
    Offline

    Marcelo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Sonora, Mexico
    Then, my friend, you're in grave danger. I liked it so much, I built over five fantasy worlds recently... And I didn't write stories for 'em. Yup, talk about losing time (although I enjoyed it thoroughly, so it wasn't exactly losing time).
     
  5. Beaumont Hardy
    Offline

    Beaumont Hardy New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Messages:
    12
    Likes Received:
    0
    But do you really need to include so much detail about your fantasy world, Polyphonic-Canary? What if you imagine that you're writing about your imaginary world for a reader who is completely familiar with that world? Real-world readers (who obviously don't know about the fantasy world) would be able to glean information about the world without you having to provide exhaustive detail. If the rules of your world make sense, it seems like the inferences of the reader could take over where your explanation stops.

    I guess I'm suggesting showing, as opposed to telling. Can you convey information about your world through the characters' action and dialogue, rather than through straight narration?
     
  6. Polyphonic-Canary
    Offline

    Polyphonic-Canary Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the suggestion, Beaumont Hardy. Yeah, I guess with my concept being FP the responsibility of world-interpretation should partly belong to the characters and more importantly the reader. I'll bear that in mind. I do tend to get carried away with telling when writing fantasy, heck, I even start drawing things out - I like visual aids, heh. I'll be drawing maps out next... :rolleyes:
     
  7. UnknownBearing
    Offline

    UnknownBearing Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2009
    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Void
    i did it once, but a certain television show soon stole my thunder so i dropped the project. even though the plot is totally different, a single used concept can ruin a good idea.

    but no, i usually have a real concrete setting. of course, it may be an alternate timeline Earth set 40 years into the future, or one of Saturn's moons a couple centuries off, but they are real places... :D
     
  8. Marcelo
    Offline

    Marcelo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Sonora, Mexico
    When world-building, you must use as much details as possible. Of course, you won't let the reader know all of it, but as the writer you must know the goings of the world you just built. And of course, the bits the audience will have to read don't have to be info dumps! You can show (not tell) in many intriguing and exciting ways, you just have to search for what fits your story.
     
  9. Sabih Omar
    Offline

    Sabih Omar Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2009
    Messages:
    43
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bangladesh
    I think it's tougher to write in a fantasy world. You have to create the whole scenerio. Of course you can borrow from the real world. But in that case maintaining consistency throughout the piece becomes a challenge. Whenever I write about a fantasy world I make things little bit weird and hazy to distract the reader. But that sometimes wears me out and the writing dies a premature death :(
     
  10. Necromortis
    Offline

    Necromortis Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    77
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    California
    I tend to write stories set in the modern world, with a touch of the fantastical thrown in. Nothing exceptional though. For example - one of my current brainstorming projects is set in our modern time, but demons, half-demons, and humans have co-existed since the beginning of time. I'm also tossing around an 'urban fantasy' type thing, set in the Civil War era Northeast.

    I guess I'm just not the type of writer who writes stories that are set 100% in our world. Don't know why - most of my stories tend to involve things that don't exist in our world.

    While I think building a world from scratch is incredibly fun and rewarding, to do so well is such a huge effort. Civilizations, history, governments, races...the list goes on, and on, and on...And then there's the problem of consistency. So I write stories set in worlds like that, simply because of the effort input required.

    ~Christian
     
  11. cybrxkhan
    Offline

    cybrxkhan Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    13
    I prefer fantasy of course, though in my opinion even though it is easier to start making up a fantasy world as opposed to using a real world setting, in the end, a well-thought out, consistent, realistic fantasy setting is harder to do. For a real world setting, all you really need is some good research and observational skills, and you should be fine enough. For a fantasy world, however, you don't have the free research. You have to make sure everything in that world makes sense to a sensible degree.

    That's why like, for example, I don't like magic in stories. A LOT of people make magic inconsistent and seemingly unrealistic; why the heck do you need to duel that mage with some fireballs when you can just use a brainwashing spell or something, for example? To pull magic off in a reasonable manner, you really have to think things out a lot - what kind of magic is possible, what kind isn't, how magical power is used and kept at check in a society - tons of things.

    Sure, it's easy to start off with fantasy, but once you get down to it, you'd find out it is much, much harder than it seems. There's a point where fantasy worlds aren't just mere imagination.
     
  12. Marcelo
    Offline

    Marcelo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Sonora, Mexico
    Yup, the difficulty found in world-building is that every factor needs of each other. For example, you cannot make a story without cities. So you make them, but now you need to name them. Then, you need to invent languages for these cities. But, who built these cities? So now you start creating world history. But you cannot make world history without religion, geography, civilizations, magic system... you get my point.
     
  13. Anders Backlund
    Offline

    Anders Backlund Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    Messages:
    244
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Land of Lagom
    I currently write contemporary/urban fantasy. My story is set in what is basically this world, but I have no problem blatantly making stuff up. Call it alternate universe if you will. My goal is basically to create a world similar to ours, but which contains everything I need to tell the story I have in mind.

    Case in point, most of the plot takes place on an large island nation in the Mediterranean that doesn't actually exist. I've basically invented the whole culture, but it's still supposed to exist in a contemporary society.

    I don't think writing in a realistic setting is easier then making a world from scratch, though. Maybe it's just that I don't bother putting down that much effort into my fantasy worlds either -I really, really don't have the patience to world-build more then I absolutely have to- but to me it's mostly a stylistic thing.
     
  14. Evelyanin
    Offline

    Evelyanin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    160
    Likes Received:
    10
    Right now I am writing a story which is set on this world, but at the same time not quite on this world. It starts of in a town in the mountains, and the country it is in isn't mentioned, but it has all the characteristics of an alpine village. Most likely in Europe, but overall it doesn't really matter. I made up names for the village which sounds like something you may find in Europe, but you probably can't look it up on Google maps. If you can, I must have some weird physic ability. Afterwards, the story moves to another part of the mountains. The geography of the mountains is probably not anywhere in this world. It actually sort of combines different areas and puts it into one. In this sense, you might call it fantasy, but at the same time, there are no walking trees or talking animals. I want the story to be set in the real world, because certain aspects of life are important to the plot. A fantasy world would block all those things out. At the same time, my story requires a certain location that is really unique. So basically, I don't know what genre my story is, but that shouldn't matter at the end.
     
  15. Polyphonic-Canary
    Offline

    Polyphonic-Canary Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2009
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    There's a lot of urban settings coming up here...

    I did finally decide on keeping things in a real location, however, I've got a kind of secret subterranean thing going on also. Gonna leave the details for later and just start writing; good old 'dive in' method. Hope it doesn't fall apart, since they usually do. >.<

    I'll admit to writing some fantasy-magicy rubbish when I was younger. Just had a good laugh looking through it all actually. Some of the character names and 'special abilities' made me cringe, argh. Still trying to figure out why I kept hold of it all! One thing that caught my attention was the sheer amount of details and notes I'd gathered together before writing it. It's a shame I ended up scrapping the entire thing after a few chapters. Guess I was more interested in researching stuff than writing about it back then. ;)
     
  16. afinemess
    Offline

    afinemess Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Messages:
    253
    Likes Received:
    10
    I like to write real world. Fantasy is something I love to read, but I have yet to try and tackle. To me, it is harder to write, and perhaps one day after I've finished some other novels, I'll give it a try. I get kind of detailed in my descriptions of things, and i think any fantasy/sci fi novel I would write would run the risk of being 2 million words. LOL

    I have the setting in my novel based on my home town, but I never say the name of the town. I do mention the state, so the reader knows they have southern accents, but I felt it didnt need to be pinpointed down to an actual town. The characters make the story, not the location. I also felt this lead the reader to kind of put it into thier own mind and build the setting. Seems to be working fine, though when I have more people proof read for me, I'll be able to tell if it is annoying, or not something that is noticed. If you try to get to specific on a location, and you havent ever been or lived there, you run the risk of being inaccurate. just my opinion though!!
     
  17. Marcelo
    Offline

    Marcelo Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Messages:
    841
    Likes Received:
    6
    Location:
    Sonora, Mexico
    That technique when you don't name your setting or use archaic names such as 'The County', 'The Greyland', Weald, and so on give the place a feeling that it is, but at the same time it isn't. Much like a fairytale. This may not be fantasy, but it certainly evokes a whismical sensation to call it that way. I've used this too, and I really like it (especially for urban fantasy).
     
  18. Nick-in-son
    Offline

    Nick-in-son New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    11
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, for me i think its tough on both sides. When you write fantasy it eats up so much time and bores the reader, thats why sometimes i just use streotype writing, were i put out somethings and the reader just imagines the rest in there head, and when you write about a real place, its like you always miss something but i never really worry about it becuase after all your writing fiction and people dont always go do super research on things there just trying enjoy a good boy.
     

Share This Page